Students at commencement

A New Curriculum

At the intersection of church and world

“The gift of the new curriculum is students get to shape the curriculum more towards their own passions and gifts.”

Martha Schwehn-Bardwell, M.Div. graduate

Given the changing needs of the church and the world, Luther Seminary is building a new curriculum. This will enable the seminary to achieve its mission of educating leaders for Christian communities in ways that best prepare leaders to meet a wide variety of changing needs. This curriculum was introduced at Luther Seminary in the fall of 2014.

Over the past few years, the faculty has been listening intently to the needs of students, congregations and church leaders around the world. Students will not just learn how to lead in today’s church, but they’ll learn how to adapt to the changing nature of their ministries. The goal is to better meet the student where he/she is at and provide a pathway that best suites the student’s needs. The new curriculum allows for more flexibility in how students pursue their degree. Therefore, the new curriculum will offer more variety in how students can pursue a Master’s degree. Several different pathways will be available to students for completing their courses.

  • Traditional for M.Div. students: 2 years in classes, 1 year internship, 1 year in classes.

  • Or, 2 years in classes and 2 years simultaneously in internship and classes.

  • Or, finish in 3 or 3 ½ years by studying/interning during the summers.

Curriculum overview

The curriculum comprises three areas: Signature Courses, Core Courses, and Electives

  • Signature Courses (six credits) : Taken by M.Div. and M.A. students together; focused on basic knowledge and core commitments

  • Core Courses (M.Div.: 12 credits; M.A.: 5-6 credits): Address the knowledge, belief and capacities deemed essential for M.Div. and M.A. students; core courses differ for degree programs

  • Electives (M.Div.: 12 credits; M.A.: 4-5 credits): Provide a broader range of courses that allows students to shape their education and future ministry while recognizing the varying backgrounds and learning needs of each student

The new curriculum encourages a holistic learning model

In addition to learning that is fostered by stellar faculty members in class, online and in small-group discussions, a new dimension is critical as well. Based on best practices, there is a new emphasis on building strong cohort groups. These groups provide a supportive environment in which students move through their theological education together.